The Early Years...
Removed from their parents due to drunk and violent behaviour; Sasha & Sergei spent 11 years in an orphanage. Their care was stable but the building was damp, cold and dilapidated. Toilets were holes in the floor, showers were buckets of water thrown over them and the food, so poor they were often hungry. Life appeared unbearable when Love Russia visited back in 2000. We bought beds, bedding, cookers, new toilets, showers and food to help things improve.
We first met these boys through summer camp. Sergei remembers "the visitors from Britain with hearts on their T-shirts” (our logo!). They didn’t have much to laugh about day to day so have fond memories of the stories, games, smiles and fun at camp.
After Orphanage Life...
They learned a trade at college, then, despite both having academic ages of 9, their carer found them work. He also helped them find their mother. The boys needed a home so moved in with her. She still drank heavily – It was a miracle they didn’t follow suit.
Recently, their mum died from alcohol poisoning. They have remained in her flat but the water and electricity were cut off because of their mother’s debts. The boys showed us around; we fought hard to fight back the tears as we saw how they lived.
Filth, mould, with a stench in the the air due to decades of neglect; the result of severe alcoholism. The flat is not theirs to keep without the correct documents and on top of this, they were recently made redundant. The boys are now in their 20’s.
A Love Russia mentor is helping them find jobs and complete paperwork to take over the tenancy agreement. Love Russia paid the outstanding £175 electricity bill so it could be turned back on; an amount they could never have saved on their own. Sasha and Sergei are both attending Life Skills seminars and will receive a small monthly blessing towards essentials till they are back on their feet.
Having grown up in an orphanage they don't expect much - but they deserve more than this! As part of the Serve the City project, we'll work with them to clean their derelict flat, paint the walls and make it liveable!
If you'd like to help we'd appreciate donations towards cleaning products, decorating basics and small items of furniture. All contributions will be a huge blessing to Sasha & Sergei.
DONATE or call 0115 983 1100 (mon - fri, 9am - 5pm)